Often the most strikingly visible part of our environment, advertising can enliven a city and add something vital to one s early-morning commute.

While not every ad can light up an urban precinct like the immersive displays Samsung used in New York's Times Square to debut its S8 and S8+, or thrill onlookers like Toyota's 100-foot-tall billboard for its RAV4 Hybrid, creative excellence remains a must in the industry. The tried-and-tested formulae of OOH, the world's oldest broadcast media, are just not widely adopted and applied.

When creating an integrated campaign, OOH campaigns are often simply ‘copy and paste’.

Part of the problem is that we don’t capitalize on what OOH has to offer, even though we know that it is the most impactful medium by far, capable of increasing brand recall, strengthening brand positioning and driving intent to purchase better than any other. A recent study by Outfront Media in the US shows that more than 89% of US residents are exposed to OOH every day and, of the seven out of ten consumers who recall seeing OOH ads in the past month, 26% have immediately visited the business mentioned, 26% have visited an advertised website, and 70% have been influenced to buy the product in question.

Knowing that OOH offers unique deliverables – such as increased reach and frequency – why are we not using it to amplify the effectiveness of digital, online, print and radio? We know messages designed for above-the-line media don’t translate well to OOH because each has a separate function and value (cinema speaks to a relaxed, captive audience; print is more tactile and intimate). We know that OOH has the ability to assist campaigns early on in the equation, so why not use that knowledge to craft a message that will connect with a targeted audience (pay attention to format, location and language, for example)? If the medium is part of the consumer’s journey to work, gym, school, restaurants and so on, how can it become a unique catalyst within a broader campaign, complementing other touchpoints.

Custom-designing OOH while mindful of context and placement would do wonders in terms of attracting a particular target market. Billboards would be a lot more effective if they could transform the landscape, deliver maximum impact and cut marketing costs in one fell swoop. When we sacrifice creative excellence, however, we lessen impact, which results in less successful campaigns and lower return on investment.

Finally, if we were to custom-design for OOH, wouldn’t the end result be even better brand recollection and brand amplification? Our opinion is that it would. Marketing consultant Sequent Partners recently found that as much as 70% of ROI can be attributed to creative quality, which says it all.

Customizing content with the ‘golden rules’ of advertising in mind would improve on the campaign’s deliverables and increase return on investment. The simple yet highly effective creative increases impact, recall and engagement at the same time.

The solution, it would seem, is to work holistically on a campaign but design for each medium according to what works best in that medium, with a desired outcome or objective in mind. Ultimately, OOH can amplify and add value to a campaign message in a highly effective way (a powerful image will complement media status overall, drive consumer engagement and improve overall campaign effectiveness), so analyzing where OOH fits into the equation is a vital consideration.

The value of the media, and share of the media mix, would grow if creative execution was applied, which yield better recall and meet would brand deliverables. Billboards are canvasses for creativity and this should be leveraged by marketers everywhere. For more information on OOH and DOOH advertising, and how we can help with your next campaign, contact us today at 210-610-5012 or email service@bmoutdoor.com


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